American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, September 8th
(All times eastern)
Detroit Tigers (73-64) at LA Angels of Anaheim (75-63), 9:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Detroit - Justin Verlander (13-7, 2.73)
LA Angels - C.J. Wilson (11-9, 3.85)
(Sports Network) - The last time Justin Verlander faced the LA Angels of
Anaheim, he outdueled Jered Weaver and carried a no-hitter into the eighth
inning of his team's 3-2 win.
It's more than a year later since that July 31 gem versus the Angels in which
Verlander allowed two unearned runs, struck out nine and walked two batters in
eight frames. He is set make his 12th career start against them tonight.
Detroit's reigning AL Cy Young Award winner and league MVP is 4-4 with a 3.68
earned run average in 11 career matchups with Anaheim, and ended a four-start
winless drought in a 4-2 win over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday, when he
fanned 11 and gave up one run in eight innings.
Verlander is 13-7 in 28 starts to go along with a 2.73 ERA this season, and
6-5 in 15 road assignments. Weaver won't be opposing Verlander tonight and is
battling a case of shoulder tendinitis.
The Tigers lost the opener of this set, 3-2, on Friday. Angels pinch-hitter
Alberto Callaspo singled home Peter Bourjos with the game-winning run in the
bottom of the ninth. Tigers reliever Octavio Dotel was saddled with the loss
and Max Scherzer's strong outing was wasted by a lack of offense.
Scherzer struck out nine and did not walk a batter through eight innings of
"Max was terrific. He pitched a whale of a game," Tigers manager Jim Leyland
Prince Fielder and Alex Avila both homered for Detroit, which remained one
game off the lead in the AL Central after the White Sox lost to the Kansas
The Tigers have lost six of 10 games and are 3 1/2 games off the wild card
lead. They opened a 10-game trek on a sour note and will also visit the White
Sox and Indians on the swing. Detroit has dropped four straight on the road.
Tigers infielder Omar Infante is two hits shy of 1,000 in his career.
Meanwhile, the Angels are just two games off a wild card spot and have won
four in a row and 13 of their last 16 games.
Callaspo was the hero and Kendrys Morales finished 3-for-4 for Los Angeles,
which kicked off a seven-game homestand versus Detroit and Oakland in stylish
"It was a fastball away, and I tried to put the ball in play," Callaspo said
of his game-winning hit.
Albert Pujols went 0-for-4 to snap a 14-game hitting streak, and was hitting
.357 with five home runs and 15 RBI over his past 18 games. Chris Iannetta
finished 0-for-3 and entered the game batting .383 with 12 runs batted in
through his last 17 contests.
The Angels moved a season-high 12 games over .500 (75-63).
C.J. Wilson has won back-to-back starts since an 11-game winless streak in
which he compiled an 0-5 mark and a 6.09 earned run average. Wilson looks to
make it three wins in a row when he squares off against Verlander tonight.
Wilson ended the slump on Aug. 29 versus Boston with six innings of three-run
ball, then held the Athletics to two runs over five innings of an 8-3 victory
on Monday. Wilson, in his first season with the Angels, improved to 11-9 with
a 3.85 ERA in 29 starts. Wilson, who is 4-5 in 12 home starts, lost to Detroit
on July 18, when he gave up seven runs in six innings of a 7-2 loss.
The left-hander is winless in his career against the Tigers, going 0-2 with a
7.27 ERA in eight games, two of which have been starts.
The Tigers have won five of eight matchups with the Angels this season.
09/08 10:46:43 ET